Summary: Be careful who you listen to when it comes who you chose to listen to
• SLIDE #1
• Silly warning labels illustration. http://www.rinkworks.com/said/warnings.shtml
• Some things we are told are not worth listening to.
• We looked at the two possible paths we can take in life. As we are trying to choose which path in life to take we will have many people trying to influence us to follow their chosen path.
• This is how this text ties into our previous text. We two possible paths and now we see we have two possible types of people from which we can receive counsel concerning which path to take.
• Ultimately we have to decide who we are going to listen to.
• There will be many who will try to give us advice as to what to do with our lives. There will be those who try to lead us down the wrong path.
• Some people will look like they have good advice for us to follow only to find at closer examination, it is not so good.
• Imagine you are hungry and you look at some fruit in a bowel on a table. It looks good so you decide to take a bite out of it only to find out the fruit was plastic.
• You would have saved your teeth had you taken the time to examine the fruit before you took a bite.
• This section of text is one that we must be careful not to just gloss over.
• This is a section of text we need to look at and take very seriously. What Jesus is giving us is not one of those silly warnings that we all laugh at.
• Let’s begin with verse 15
• SLIDE #2
• Matthew 7:15 ( ESV ) 15“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
• In verse 15 we are given a warning to be heeded.
• SLIDE #3
I. A WARNING TO BE HEEDED (15)
• How many of us have watched some of the infomercials late at night. The next thing you know you have bought some gadget that promises to change your life.
• One that sticks out in my mind was an abdominal machine that you wear around your waste that promises to take away that unsightly stomach. I watched a morning show where Good House Keeping tested this product only to find that it did nothing for you. The company is reviewing the product.
• I remember Rally’s hamburger commercial when I lived in Illinois that describes how their hamburgers were fresh. “FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY”.
• Remember the tie in with the verses we covered 2 weeks ago. As we are choosing which path we are going to follow, we do not want anyone to lead us down the wrong path.
• Jesus tells us that the false prophets are ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing. The word ravenous implies a wolf that loves to kill.
• In Jesus day a prophet was one who was a teacher. Jesus may have been speaking of the Pharisees but we do not know for sure.
• Jesus is telling us that we have to be careful not to follow the false teachers. A false teacher is one who teaches incorrect doctrine.
• These people are called false brothers (2 Cor. 11:26), false apostles (2 Cor. 11:13), false teachers (2 Pet. 2:1), false speakers, that is, liars (1 Tim. 4:2), false witnesses (Matt. 26:60), and false Christs (Matt. 24:24).
• In 1 John 4:1 we are reminded
• SLIDE #4
• 1 John 4:1 ( ESV ) 1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
• We are encouraged not to just believe everything we hear, we need to make sure we are not being fed plastic fruit.
• Paul’s last words to the Ephesian elders, when he met with them for a farewell on the beach near Miletus, included a somber warning about inevitable false teachers.
• SLIDE #5
• Acts 20:29-31 ( ESV ) 29I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.
• The warnings against following false teachers are all over the scriptures, so the warning must be something important for us to consider.
• Today and in the past the false teachers have drawn in many people.
• We all kinds of people claiming to be the way to God. WE have groups who put on nice commercials who have drawn in many people, but they deny Jesus.